In a bizarre move, Chicago has named one of its streets after the leader of a Puerto Rican terrorist organization. Earlier this week, the city named a street spanning three blocks after Oscar Lopez Rivera, one of the leaders of Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional or FALN.
The proposal to change the name of the street was submitted by Alderman Roberto Maldonado, who was appointed by former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley of the Democratic Party in 2009. Through votes submitted by the other aldermen of the city, Lopez Rivera was honored by Chicago by having a street named after him.
Despite receiving the majority vote, many of Chicago’s residents are not happy with the measure, especially given the fact that Lopez Rivera led a notorious terrorist group that carried out around 120 robberies and bomb attacks in the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s, according to Townhall.
After his arrest in 1977, Lopez Rivera was sentenced to spend a total of 70 years in prison. However, former President Barack Obama recently commuted the terrorist leader’s sentence and is now scheduled to be released in May of this year.
In today’s times where the world is under constant threat due to terrorism, Chicago’s move to honor a leader of an extremist group was certainly done in poor taste. But for Maldonado, his proposal was meant as a tribute for the Puerto Rican community in Chicago.
However, as noted by many Puerto Ricans in the city, they are not happy with the alderman’s measure and Chicago’s decision to approve it. Through social media posts and local newspaper write-ups, many of them apologized for the way the city handled the alderman’s proposal.
“As a Puerto Rican female, I am so ashamed that Oscar Lopez, leader of the FLAN, and a convicted terrorist, will be getting a street sign honoring him,” resident Janette Lopez wrote in a letter to The Chicago Sun Times.